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Coronavirus patients share their trials and hardships


Much has been written about the warning signs, symptoms and dangers of COVID-19. But what about living an active infection? In this first article in a biweekly series documenting coronavirus life, the three victims agreed to share their stories, daily medical conditions, thoughts, and observations with the VOA.

“I’ve never been sick before.”

Carlos Gavidia
age: 53
Profession: Entrepreneur, retirement
city: Jupiter Florida
Carlos Gavidia embodies an American dream. A Peruvian-born immigrant, he emerged from a hot dog vendor in Washington and became CEO of a financial services company. Gavidia, now retired, enjoys a long life, skiing in Colorado and boating to the Bahamas. But while his body is fighting the coronavirus, Gavidia fights for every breath, so it’s now a distant memory.

Earlier this month, Gavidia flew a family of four to Aspen for a break at her son’s college. In what would prove to be a fate decision, he and his wife enjoyed a brunch at a fancy resort. of Hotel later announced that it was closed After two guests test positive for COVID-19.

“I was in the epicenter of where it occurred in Aspen,” he told VOA.

Gavidia rushed home to Jupiter in Florida, but it was too late. At first his wife began to show symptoms of COVID-19. Two days later, in mid-March, he was ill.

“I’ve never been sick-fever, headache, it just won’t go away,” he said.

“I didn’t know if I could meet again.”

On March 21, Gavidia called 911 from her mobile phone. He could not hold his breath. Fearing COVID-19, the EMT refused to come inside the house. Gavidia was forced to walk outside and stand in the middle of the street.

He said goodbye to his family and wife and thought he might never meet again. Gavidia said, “I have heard about a coronavirus patient who died on his own because of contagiousness. When I say goodbye to my wife, I thought it could be that.”

Gavidia was diagnosed as positive for COVID-19 at the hospital and was isolated at home. By this time, his entire family had fought. All four have lost taste and smell. But his symptoms and suffering are most severe.

Experimental drug

Gavidia’s physician suggested trying antimalarial drugs that have been reported to be promising in some patients but have not been approved for COVID-19. “Many people don’t want a prescription because they haven’t been approved or tested,” Gavidia said.

In the next article, Gavidia will secure an unproven drug and share the extraordinary length that he has experienced to see if he has improved drug therapy.


“Just feeling sick”

Zack Armstrong
age: 29th
Profession: Technology Recruitment Manager
city: Arlington, Virginia

Zach Armstrong has given his active and soccer roommate a handset to hand over to 911. Roommate (27) was unable to lift his arm and hold the phone. At that time, Armstrong knew something was wrong.

“Soon after he arrived at the hospital, we received the text. He tested positive on COVID.”

Currently, Armstrong, another roommate, and two girlfriends are experiencing symptoms, but the original roommate remains hospitalized with a ventilator. Four have not been tested, but are estimated to be infected with the coronavirus. Isolated in a three-bedroom apartment, they have experienced moderate symptoms so far: upset stomach, headache, shortness of breath, dry cough.

“I usually cough in the evening,” Armstrong said, adding that she was taking acetaminophen and cold medicine.

Four people had no choice but to wait outside the apartment, mobilizing health authorities, professional workers, and an army of friends.

The Arlington County Health Service checks in with them twice a day and asks about fever and symptoms.

Hazmat Pickup

Since no one could leave the apartment, the building manager regularly arranged for garbage collection. Armstrong said two workers in protective clothing in the hallway were shocked the first time they opened the door.

“We are given very strict instructions-do not place trash bags on the ground in the hallway,” he said.

After knowing the confirmed and suspected case of COVID-19, the property manager of the apartment sanitized all common areas.

In the meantime, at a nearby hospital, Armstrong’s roommates seemed to have improved at first, but then became frustrated and a week later breathing with the help of a ventilator.

In the next article, you check in with your roommates to see if they are getting worse. Friends have also found creative and unusual ways to provide them with food and toilet paper.


“I can’t believe humans are still alive with this disease.”

Connie Lambert
age: 76
Profession: Restaurant owner, retired
city: Suburbs of Chicago, Illinois
Previous health issues: Lung cancer, stroke

Connie Lambert will never slow her down due to her age or serious medical episodes. She travels She plays a handbell. She participates in Bible studies.

But not now.

“I couldn’t breathe. There’s nothing worse in the world than not being able to pull air into your lungs,” she said.

Lambert is susceptible to pneumonia for many years. But from the start, her current dyspnea felt different. And it never got better. There she went to St. Margaret Mercy Hospital and waited seven hours for coronavirus testing. Like many people who are suspected of having COVID-19 infection, she is waiting for the consequences.

Nurse involved in fear

Lambert said nurses who walked down the corridor stepped back because they were in a car “as if I was shining.” Hospital workers tried to admit her after wiping her for examination, but she urged her to isolate herself at home.

Jane, one of her roommates, helps her sit in bed and use a walker. Lambert said he had problems swallowing and lacked energy. She said her body was uncomfortably hot while not experiencing high fever.

“The neck is bright red. The face turns red,” she said.

Missing her favorite job

Lambert raised three sons and ran the restaurant for 30 years. After retirement, her favorite job is watching over two granddaughters, three months and two years old. Now she can’t spend time with her when she needs the most comfort.

For now Lambert is concerned about two roommates who take care of her. She has heard that there is no cure for COVID-19 and says, “I am going to be depressed?

In the next article, we’ll see where the Lambert test results are and where to go.

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